The downside of that is the comparing. You will see one baby speaking in sentences, while your baby just started saying a few words. You will find one baby walking at 9 months, while another is struggling at 14 months. Everybody knows that every baby is different and you shouldn't compare, but that is much easier said than done.
It's also human nature to think that whatever you have decided to do, or whatever has worked out well for you, is the right way to do things. I don't know if it's the need for validation in choices or an insecurity that someone has made the wrong decision. Or maybe it can just be exhausted, overly emotional women getting easily worked up. :)
One thing that I have found is that, especially with my second child, I don't get quite as worried about these things anymore. I know that everything will happen in due time, so it does no good stressing out about it. Yes, my child is 19 months and still has a Nuk for bed, naps, and sometimes if her teeth are bothering her. Do many say it should be gone by now? Of course. I know in the long run of things it won't be a big deal. I haven't seen too many college freshman going to Psych 101 with a paci in their mouths. Some things are just easier on the parent and child (In my opinion) to just relax a little and take their lead.
Kendall was 2.5 when we finally pulled her nuk away. I probably would have done it sooner, but we were dealing with a newborn, and as any mother with 2 under 2 will tell you, you are just in survival mode and are not wanting to jump to anything that will make life harder on you. I was building up this traumatic experience of Kendall screaming herself to sleep for nights, or God forbid weeks, over the loss of her beloved nukey. We talked about it all week, and that Friday there was no turning back. She excitedly packed all of her nuks into a bag that we left on the front porch for the Nuk Fairy.
And then, I held my breath and waited. Waited for the screams, waited for the change of heart, waited for the devastation. As I waited, I realized it wasn't coming. The kid did amazing. The next morning we went to Target to get her big girl gift, and she was so damn proud of herself.
After that, there was no looking back. If I had listened to everyone else, instead of my own gut, the situation may have been a lot harder on everyone involved.
I try to remember that my children's lives are not lived on a timeline. They don't need to accomplish certain feats by a predetermined age. I will love them and rejoice in their achievements when they do happen. On their time.